The 7 Goals of Calgary's MDP

Calgary has a growth management playbook. Here’s how it’ll help.

Managing growth is a complex problem. The residential building cycle is long – more than 10 years – so decisions made today have lasting impact on housing availability in the future.  

In response to this complicated challenge, the City of Calgary created the Municipal Development Plan (MDP), a strategy that contains hundreds of policies designed to guide Calgary’s development over the next 60 years.

An overarching objective of the MDP is to help make Calgary more compact and efficient by providing a wider range of housing types and mixed-use buildings. When more people live together in smaller area, it reduces the strain on the city’s land, resources and infrastructure. Denser neighbourhoods also mean increased vibrancy and a better environment for local businesses.

How does the MDP plan to address this challenge? Here are 7 seven ways Calgary is strategically approaching growth:

1.) Good Urban Design

Build a legacy of quality public and private developments via evidence-based tactics and public engagement.

2.) A Connected City

Create a strong public transit system that is efficient and accessible. According to a recent survey by ThinkHQ, 63% of Calgarians say they currently use public transit at least occasionally.

3.) A Prosperous Economy

Ensure the city is business friendly and able to support a wide diversity of companies both big and small.

4.) A Compact City

Engage in redevelopment of existing and established areas to improve density and ensure community health.

5.) Great Communities

Achieve high quality of life satisfaction ratings in every community.

6.) Manage Growth and Change

Develop areas and policies that consider current issues but also plan for affordable, sustainable population growth down the road.

7.) A Greener City

Provide access to green space for Calgarians throughout the city.

Calgary is already taking positive steps towards many of the MDP’s goals. In 2014, 30% of the city’s growth occurred in existing areas, far exceeding planning targets thanks to developers finding new, innovative ways to build in established areas. As a result, our land consumption has dropped dramatically over the past 15 years, with our population growing at a greater rate than our urban footprint.

Predicting growth and adapting to the associated issues is an on-going challenge. The MDP is an essential tool that will help guide the city’s efforts to create a vibrant, livable and affordable place to live - both in the present and many years in the future.

What to know more? Check out our publication Raising a Smart City.

December 1st, 2015
Updated: August 29th, 2017

Sharing the key ways the city plans to manage growth moving forward.